Captain Sam Wyndham, former Scotland Yard detective, is a new arrival to Calcutta. Desperately seeking a fresh start after his experiences during the Great War, Wyndham has been recruited to head up a new post in the police force. But with barely a moment to acclimatise to his new life or to deal with the ghosts which still haunt him, Wyndham is caught up in a murder investigation that will take him into the dark underbelly of the British Raj.
A senior official has been murdered, and a note left in his mouth warns the British to quit India: or else. With rising political dissent and the stability of the Raj under threat, Wyndham and his two new colleagues – arrogant Inspector Digby and British-educated, but Indian-born Sergeant Banerjee, one of the few Indians to be recruited into the new CID – embark on an investigation that will take them from the luxurious parlours of wealthy British traders to the seedy opium dens of the city.
Abir Mukherjee beat 426 other people to win the Telegraph Harvill Secker crime writing competition. The judges made a very wise choice, as A Rising Man is simply stunning! I listened to it on Audible, and Simon Bubb’s narration was fantastic. Mukherjee writes beautifully and paints a very vivid and thought-provoking picture of 1919 colonial India. The pairing of Captain Sam Wyndham and ‘Surrender-not’ Banerjee is perfect, and the murder-mystery facing them gives us a fantastic glimpse into life in a hot, colourful country, where the locals are maybe not so keen on British rule as the British think.
I highly recommend this crime thriller, and am very pleased that its sequel, A Necessary Evil, is sitting in my Audible library. I’m looking forward to Sam and Surrender-not’s next escapades!
When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t.
The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two-year-old daughter Elise.
What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her.
No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.
I listened to this book through Audible, narrated by accomplished voice actress, Katie Scarfe. Jo Blackmore is the mother to young Elise and husband to investigative journalist, Max. She suffers from agoraphobia, which has a major impact on her life, and is the perfect reason for her doing some of those things that make you question protagonists’ decisions in other novels.
I’ve seen other reviews call this a fast-paced thriller. I didn’t find that. But it also wasn’t a slow burner. Jo is in trouble right from the off, and this domestic noir sees her trying to deal with external forces that seem determined to derail her, at the same time as she battles her own mental health issues.
As the title suggests, Jo uses escape as a way of keeping her daughter safe and combatting all of the forces that the author has cleverly stacked against her; however, this leads her to discover a heartbreaking mystery from her own childhood.
Off on your hols soon and looking for your own escape? I’d recommend taking this with you.
And here it was; my last day. Soon there’d be no more arranging apples into uniform perfection, nor picking cauliflower leaves from the machine polished floor. No more putting up with Andy, who seems to think managing a few rows of fruit and veg in a supermarket is the pinnacle of achievement. I’m sure he knows where we’d love to shove those feijoas.
Sixth form finished in May. Exams in June. And this phase of my life feels like it’s ending today, Saturday the tenth of September. Uni starts on Monday. A long way away. From this place. From these people; family, school friends and work mates. And her.
And as if fate was listening to my thoughts, in she walks. In two years I’ve never worked out whether she had old parents, or they were her grandparents. In two years I’ve never even asked her name. But I know her. And she knows me. I live for these moments. My smile is returned and she says hi. This is it. Last chance. I’ve squandered two years of opportunities. There will be no more.
“Hi,” I say back. Her smile widens, but she turns and is gone. I’m frozen to the spot as I watch her follow the old couple around the corner. I want to go after her, but I can’t move. I’m lost. Until the woman pushes the green fruit under my nose.
“Uhh… a feijoa. From New Zealand”.
“What’s it good for?”